Showing posts with label save the tiger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label save the tiger. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tigers Vanishing in India

The poachers perch on the rough platforms they have built in the trees about 15 feet above the forest floor, waiting patiently for the tiger to come. They have been searching the forests of India's Ranthambhore reserve for days, following the pug marks and other tell-tale signs. When they found the fresh kill, they knew it would only be a matter of time before the tiger returned to eat. Working quickly, they placed their traps on the path, scattering small stones across the dry sandy soil, knowing that tigers hate to walk on them and will pick their way around if they can.

The tiger pads forward, guided by the stones into the trap, which springs shut with a snap. The poachers have fashioned the device from old car suspension plates; there are no teeth, because a damaged pelt will fetch less money. In pain and desperate to free itself, the tiger thrashes around. Another foot catches in another trap, then a third.

The poachers watch to make sure it cannot free itself, then edge down to the ground, still cautious, because a male Bengal tiger can weigh up to 500lb (227kg) and a female 300lb (136kg) and a single blow from those claws could kill a man. One man carries a bamboo stick into which he has poured molten lead to give it more weight. The other has a spear on the end of a 10ft pole. As the tiger opens its mouth, the poacher with the spear lunges forward, stabbing between its open jaws. As the blood starts to flow, he stabs again and again. His colleague smashes the tiger over the head with the stick.

When it is over, they draw their heavy iron knives and set to work to skin it. They leave the paws intact; they are too fiddly to waste time on out in the open. Half an hour later, they are gone, melting away unchallenged into the jungle, once more eluding the forest guards.

It is always the same, says Dharmendra Khandal, toying with a heavy iron skinning knife as he recounts the story. Khandal is sitting in the offices of Tiger Watch on the edge of the national park, one of the most popular tiger reserves in India. He spreads his palms in frustration. The government's forestry department is always the last to act, he says, though it is its job to protect the tigers.

Tiger Watch was established in Rajasthan 12 years ago as an independent, privately funded organization trying to stem the decline of the wildlife population in the Ranthambhore reserve. In the last five years, it has helped police arrest 47 alleged poachers from the Moghiya tribe, many in possession of tiger skins and other body parts, guns and traps. By their own admission, the poachers have killed more than 20 tigers. Yet in the same period, the authorities in the park did not record a single incidence of poaching. Something does not add up.

At the turn of the last century, there were an estimated 45,000 tigers living wild in India's forests. By the time hunting was banned in 1972, their numbers were down to 2,000. In January, the World Wildlife Fund placed the animal in its list of 10 key creatures facing extinction, warning that while counting tigers is notoriously difficult, there might only be 3,200 left in the wild worldwide. The WWF has just launched a Year of the Tiger campaign to coincide with the start of the Chinese year of the tiger. The organization is working with world leaders towards the goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022 and there will be a summit in Vladivostok in September attended by the heads of government from the tiger range countries. Nowhere will the challenge be greater than in India, home to that symbol of the country, the royal Bengal tiger.

The Indian government claims 1,411 tigers are still alive inside its borders. Few experts believe this figure. When a tiger skin can sell for $20,000 in neighbouring China, poaching remains a serious problem. Last year was the worst since 2002 for tiger deaths and even India's Ministry of Environment and Forests concedes that its way of counting tigers is so vague that there may be as few as 1,165. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh now admits the figure of 1,411 was "an exaggeration". Either deliberately, to hide the true scale of the animal's decline, or accidentally, through flawed methodology, it is now clear that the numbers are wrong. Some conservationists believe the true number of tigers left in India may be little more than half the official tally and that at the present rate of decline, the tiger will cease to be a viable wild species in India within as little as five years. If poaching and habitat loss continue unabated, those reserves that still have tigers will be little more than open-air zoos. According to the ministry, there are 16 reserves (just under half the total) where there may be no tigers at all or where the tiger is in danger of becoming extinct. Part of the problem is that the presence of tigers is a matter of pride, both for states and individual reserves. No one wants to admit that their tigers have been poached. And still the forests are vanishing as India's burgeoning population places increasing demands on limited space.

Ranthambhore is one of the better parks, one of the few places visitors have a realistic chance of seeing a tiger in the wild. Even here, the number of tigers left is in dispute.

According to Khandal, Tiger Watch's field biologist, there are two schools of poachers: the professionals who tend to come in from Haryana and use only leg traps and the local Moghiya tribe who fire on the tiger from close range with homemade guns. "The Moghiyas are criminals," says Khandal. "They are one of the most brutal communities in India. A month ago, some of them cut off a woman's feet just to steal her ankle ornaments. She bled to death."

In an attempt to stem the tide, Tiger Watch has started working with the Moghiya, hiring informants for 3,500 rupees (£50) a month, while setting some of the women to work producing handicrafts and providing education for their children.

"It's a risky job," says Khandal. "We have four regular paid informants from this community and we give them money in return for information. The community knows who the informants are. Some of them are resisting but there are cracks in the society now. Some of them are asking why they should live in such a primitive state."

Kesra, 45, is one of the former Moghiya poachers who have been turned. By his own admission, he has killed at least five tigers. He describes roaming the forests looking for pug marks and then taking up position in the trees to wait for the tiger to come, working at night and returning in the morning to skin the tigers. He says they never had any trouble with the forest guards, a common refrain. He was arrested as a result of a Tiger Watch raid and is awaiting trial. He insists he is now reformed. "I never had much education. My forefathers were doing hunting, but now times have changed. We are different people," he says.

His wife, Sanwali, also 45, earns about 3,000 rupees a month from making baskets for Tiger Watch. They have five sons and two daughters to support. She says that, like the tigers, they have become the hunted.

"We are not willing to live in an atmosphere where the police are always coming after us," she says. "We had to move from here to there. Our forefathers were involved in poaching, but we don't want to be involved in this trade any more."

It is a view echoed by 26-year-old Asanti. Her family are notorious tiger poachers and she is married to a former small-time poacher, Deshraj, 30. The couple, who married when Asanti was 10, have an eight-year-old daughter, Puja, and say they don't want her to grow up like they did, shunned by the rest of society. They provide information on what is happening in the tribe and in return receive money and a chance to start afresh.

"We want our children to be educated. We want to learn more. We want a regular source of income," says Asanti. "Hunting is not a regular source of income. Times have changed and our community is scattered. Now we want to live respectably."

Tiger Watch's approach is clearly having an effect, but that has not been enough to save it from the wrath of the authorities whose indolence it has exposed. Not long after the group revealed that poaching had reduced tiger numbers in Ranthambhore to just 18 in 2004, officials turned up at the office of its founder, Fateh Singh Rathore, and demolished it. His daughter's shop and their restaurant were also flattened, ostensibly for operating without the correct permissions, though others in a similar situation were left untouched. It was a warning.

Fateh Singh is now 75. He was the government's field director at Ranthambhore from 1977 to 1996 and is regarded as one of India's foremost tiger experts. Sitting in his rebuilt office, he picks up a newspaper and stares at the large WWF advert on the front page, with its warning that there are only 1,411 tigers left in India. He shakes his head; the true figure is probably closer to 800, he says. "They are always saying that the numbers are on the increase, but there is no proper scientific research. They are lying to save their skins. If they have a problem they should declare it. The authorities like only praise."

He doubts there are more than 20 tigers left in Ranthambhore.

"The field directors are responsible. They are not trying. They are too busy showing VIPs around to spend time on protection. All the popular parks are suffering from the same disease. They know they are posted for two years and then they will go somewhere else. No one is being punished for the tigers that are being lost."

Still, he says, while there are still some tigers, there is a chance. "I am still optimistic because I feel the tiger has a lust for life. It can survive if it gets protection, but you have to be very strict if you want to protect the tiger."

The system, however, is simply not geared up to deter the hunters. There were 72 arrests for tiger poaching in India last year, but the only two convictions were for cases dating back more than 10 years.

It is hardly a deterrent. Tiger poaching is a lucrative business for some – though not necessarily the poachers, who may have to share the 100,000 rupees (£1,450) they will get for one tiger between 10 gang members – and there are plenty of people with an interest in turning a blind eye.

When Tiger Watch and the Rajasthan police went after one of the biggest poachers in the region, Devi Singh, they had to sneak across the state border into Madhya Pradesh to snatch him from his village without alerting the local authorities because, Khandal explains, had they revealed their true intentions, someone would have tipped Singh off. When they got him back to Rajasthan, Singh confessed to killing five tigers in the park, in a period when no poaching was officially recorded.

The last full tiger census in India – which claimed 3,642 tigers – was carried out in 2001, based largely on pug marks, a hopelessly unreliable method of counting. Satya Prakash Yadav, deputy inspector general of the National Tiger Conservation Authority in Delhi, admits it was "seriously flawed" and "not scientifically correct". For the latest study, he says, officials switched methods, using a mixture of camera trap results and a survey of the habitat and prey base to produce an estimate of how many tigers might conceivably have survived. But he admits that problems remain. (Yadav did not have any figures for the number of tigers actually recorded in the camera traps. There are no data for this in the latest report and repeated requests for the vital statistic drew a blank.)

Many of those reserves are already on the brink. The greatest threat to the safety of the park officials comes from the Naxalites, Maoist guerrillas who have been described as the greatest threat to India's internal security. They have seized control of vast swaths of the country, ostensibly in the name of tribal peoples who they claim have been oppressed. They have a particular loathing for forestry officials, who they regard as the stick with which the state beats the tribals, extracting money and goods from them in return for the use of the forests on which they rely for their livelihoods. At least six of the parks are overrun by Naxalites and are inaccessible to the forest department. There is simply no way of knowing how many tigers remain there and certainly no way to install camera traps.

It is hardly surprising that the latest update lists 16 of the 37 reserves as being in a "poor" state. It is possible, Yadav concedes, that there are no tigers there.

"We have classified some reserves as poor where there is no population of tiger or where the tiger may go extinct. Despite our various milestone initiatives, the situation may go out of control in certain tiger reserves."

Simlipal reserve, in Orissa – the fourth largest in India – provides an insight into just how problematic the official figures are. A 2004 report, based on pug marks, claimed that there were 101 tigers in the reserve. Last year, India's environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, conceded that 40 tigers had been poached from the reserve over the previous five years, but insisted there were still 61 tigers alive and well in Simlipal alone. Yet the government's own figures claim that there are only 45 tigers in the whole of Orissa state, which also includes those in the Satkosia reserve. Again, something does not add up.

Then there is Panna. The latest report claimed that there were approximately 24 tigers in the 974sq km reserve. Last year, it was found that there were none. And this was three years after the government had announced a complete overhaul of the system, after the Sariska reserve was also found to be empty.

Luckily for the tiger, complacency is not endemic. In the Periyar tiger reserve in Kerala, a small group of women has been mounting their own fightback. Every day, members of the Vasanta Sena (Green Army) venture unpaid and unarmed into the forest, in search of poachers. There are 76 of them, living around the edges of the park, mostly from poor families, each taking one day a week off from jobs and looking after their homes to seek out intruders. One aim is to stop the destruction of the tigers' habitat, the forest itself. The sandalwoods are prized by illegal loggers for their oil, which is used in medicines and cosmetics. One kilogram of the wood can fetch 5,000 rupees.

The forest is lush and green, a gentle breeze rustling the leaves of the sandalwoods and the swaying stands of giant bamboos arcing overhead. A small stream runs beneath a roughly made wooden bridge. The women pick their way among the trees. At the front is Gracykutty, 39. She is married to a mason and has two daughters. She has been doing this for seven years.

"Here we breathe the best air in the world and we are dedicated to protecting it," she says. "I think if there is only one tiger left in the world in the end, it will be here."

Her colleague Jiji, 35, says they know that if the forest goes, so too will the tiger, destroying the tourist industry on which their economy depends.

"We keep a look out for trees that have been cut or signs that people have been in the forest. It is important because if the forest is cut then there is less space for the animals and if the forest goes and the tigers go then it will be terrible for everyone who lives around here. We understand this and that is why we are doing this. It is not just for ourselves, it is for our children too, so they can enjoy the forest like we do."

How many tigers remain in Periyar is a matter of conjecture. Sanjayan, the range officer, says the park has about 34 tigers, maybe 36. He says camera traps have identified 24 and the rest have been calculated using the unreliable pug mark method. But his boss, Bastian Joseph, the assistant field director, cites the official figure of 46 tigers.

Many conservationists fear that without drastic action, the only place the tiger will soon be found in India is in its zoos.

Inside the royal Bengal tiger pen at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Chennai, Nagammal, the woman who looks after the tigers, spins a metal wheel on the wall to slide open the internal cage door. Padma, the zoo's 15-year-old female, has been growing increasingly restless. Now she pads through the open door, lets out a roar and launches herself at the thick metal grille with a shuddering crash. She lands and turns away, pacing around the cage before repeating her assault several times, roaring her displeasure. Eventually, she settles on the floor and sits watching warily, emitting a low growl. Up close, it is easy to understand why the poachers are so keen to make sure their prey is securely trapped before they approach.

The zoo's director, PL Ananthasamy, argues that the answer to the tiger's decline lies in a captive breeding programme. "The basic game is conservation and in due course of time to take these species back to their home and release them," he says.

Tigers breed well in captivity, but releasing them into the wild is another matter entirely and most experts agree that it is fraught with difficulties, which may explain why there do not appear to be any examples of successful reintroduction of tigers.

Ananthasamy disagrees: "It is possible to release captive bred animals. We must do it gradually and ensure that the animal can survive by itself. We have not yet reached the stage where the tiger cannot breed in the wild, but the pressure is such around the sanctuaries that the numbers are coming down. There is enough prey base for the animals to survive, but the problem is the encroachers and poaching."

Aditya Singh, 43, conservationist and tiger expert, worries that time is running out. Singh runs a lodge on the edge of the Ranthambhore reserve park and spends much of his time inside the park. "I think the numbers have gone down. I think there are about 1,000 now," he says.

What will finish off the tiger as a viable species, he says, is the final destruction of the remaining corridors of forest that link the parks together. "There are still connections between the reserves, but in five years they won't be there. I think the tigers have five years. They will stay in isolated pockets, but they will have reached an evolutionary dead end.

"There is a view here that the forest belongs to the foreigners. For an average villager living outside the park they don't see it as an asset. They used to be able to go in for wood, but now they cannot. The problems for the tiger are poverty, illiteracy and overpopulation. The big problems that India has are the problems the tiger has."

Thanks to Gethin Chamberlain on his article at The Observer

Save our Tigers - Just 1411 Left

From 40,000 to  1411 , no I am not talking about story of dinosaurs extinction. I am talking about the Royal Indian Bengal Tigers . In 1973 , when India launched ‘Project Tiger’ to save the dwindling population of the tigers , then at that time they could never imagine that their efforts are just wastage because even after more than 30 years of declaring  the Tiger as India’s National Animal the life of such a precious treasure of our country is still in danger. Human hunger and pleasure for hunting and poaching have lead to such a vulnerable situation of the Tigers that the value is still decreasing. Even the government is not doing enough efforts to save our tigers. The population is still decreasing day by day. We can’t even Imagine what type of changes it can do to our environment.

Every  living  being , whether it is plants , animals , trees or human itself ; all of us are the part of this life cycle. All of us are essential to keep the stability of this environment. If any of these is missing from the cycle and the life cycle can become unstable. Every organism has its own importance and uniqueness. Tigers are also an important part of this cycle. Tigers are basically carnivorous( Flesh Eaters). That is they hunt on other animals for their survival ( mostly animal not on humans) . So population actually controls the population of other animals which may be carnivorous or herbivorous. Lets suppose that we remove tigers from this life cycle. They the population of the herbivorous animals will start increasing coz their is nobody to hunt on them , which ultimately lead to decrease in plant and trees because now more and more animals will feed on plants and their population will became double and triple year by year. Thus it will ultimately lead to decrease in the plants. And all of you knows what can happen if their is no trees and plants on this planet. Thus you can what can happen if we just remove one component of the life cycle. Although the process is slow , but it is dangerous and harsh .
Human is also an  animal , a Social animal. He is also a part of this cycle. Any change in life cycle will also gonna affect him. But this social feeling in the human has made him so self centered that he only thinks of himself . His Looks , Personality , Hobbies everything . If he thinks that he will wear tiger’s skin he will look like a king , then he will definitely do it. But he doesn’t know , a man is king from his heart and thoughts not from his looks. Even a coward can become a king after wearing this and fake others. Most importantly their is no need to wear such dead stuffs if their are a lot of varieties available in the market which are pure and attractive. But still Tiger skin has a lot of demand in the market. Specially women , are more concerned about their dresses and costumes ends up wearing such inhuman and  anti  natural stuffs. Some of them use it as a wall hanging to show everyone that they are Royals. But nobody thinks it actually requires to Kill an innocent animal  just for some little show off.

End is never predeclared it can only be predicted. Maybe we are trying to say that this animal is going to the extinction. But that doesn’t mean that only this this animal will extinct. Anything can turn out of control when it comes to nature. If we can lead this animal to extinct then remember God can also declared our dates also. and we humans can’t even change it with all our powers. We have some limited powers and we should know how to use it in positive and conservative way. We need to protect this animal , not to leave it helpless when it needs our hands. Our hands are needed to be raised for help not to kill. If you are confused that how you can help saving an animals who is living 1000 miles away from you in a jungle then just think , poachers are killing tigers just for its skin because it has got a lot of demand in international market. But demand is from you only. You are responsibly for demand. If you avoid such things then definitely demand will decrease  and it will affect those poachers. Moreover government is need to make such a strict rules that no one will  even dare to touch this animal. This is the time when they needs us and we really need to help them. I am personally against any type of cruelty to animals and I also hate wearing furs and skins. But I think if i share my feelings then it would definitely help. Thats what I have done and now its your time to act.


38th tiger reserve opens in India

India’s 38th tiger reserve and Kerala’s second was open by environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh. It would be known as the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. 

Tiger at Parambikulam wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Tiger at Parambikulam wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala

There has been a sharp decline in the number of tigers in India, with only 1,411 of them left, according to official estimates. 

The tiger reserve was known as the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary when it was set up in 1973 in a 285-sq-km protected area in Chittur area of Palakkad. 

Another 358 sq km of forests were added, and the tiger reserve now has an area of 643 sq km. 

It has a rich diversity of animal life. It also has a variety of trees, including teak, neem, sandalwood and rosewood. 

Kerala’s first tiger reserve — Periyar Tiger Reserve — is situated in Thekkadi in Idukki district. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

We dont really want to save the Tiger, do we ?

The death of the tiger points to a bigger, more sinister problem. The problem of people’s rights caused by our greed for land, and hunger for money. And the ease by which the creators of this problem divert our attention.
In the name of development we are violating human rights with an abandon only seen in savages of past. While poor people are being driven away from their lands, all sorts of justifications are available.

If Vedanta wants a tribal hill, it is necessary in the name of development to drive tribals out of there.

If Tata wants a factory land, they are given fertile land and farmers driven away from it.

The tiger is on the verge of extinction. And who do we blame? Tribals.

While the tribals right to forest bill has been passed (and diluted), the dissent in tiger conservationists voices is apparent. They have been crying hoarse that the tribals should be driven out of these forests.

And most of us believe and buy that argument.

It’s too easy to believe. Tribals crowd the forests, hence tiger dies. Foolproof.

Or, is it?

if interested .... check out next few posts in coming days...


The story about tigers

Tourism is flourishing in Ranthambore, with hotels mushrooming around the tiger in its reserve. Till the mid-1990s, there were just over 10 hotels in and around the forests of the reserve and in the town of Sawai Madhopur some 12 kilometres (km) from the gate of the national park. Now there are 33, of which 26 are prominent. Six new hotels are under construction. Average room rents vary between Rs 400 a night to a staggering Rs 30,000 for a night of ultra-deluxe luxury in the midst of the wild tigers. Most hotels are permanent structures to house their guests but some tented accommodation is also available. About five hotels (including the ones owned by the Taj and Oberoi groups) offer five-star facilities. It is not clear in every case who owns which hotel, but it is estimated that while the big-buck places are outsider-owned, smaller (relatively cheaper) hotels are owned by local people.

The size of the tourist trade can be gleaned from forest department estimates.In 2004-05, the department says that about 100,000 people visited and its receipts at the gate were Rs 1.67 crore. But this is a small proportion of the tourist earning.

The tourists pay the forest department gate fees. But they also pay the hotels charges to stay in their rooms. The volume of this business is more difficult to assess. The Tiger Task Force report, submitted in August 2005 to the prime minister, estimates, on the basis of data supplied to it by officials, that the annual turnover from the 21 top hotels is Rs 21.81 crore. If this is correct, then the park (and tigers) are poor gainers from the business of pleasure and education.

Lack of regulation has meant that many hotels have come up on agricultural orcharagah (grazing) land, within a 500-metre radius of the park boundary. "The demand for new hotels has led to the sky-rocketing of land prices,' says a local hotelier. Along the Ranthambore road, land prices have gone up from Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh per hectare (ha) 10 years back to anywhere from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh per ha today, depending on the proximity to the park entrance. "Due to the high prices villagers prefer to sell the land near the park,' says Hemraj Meena, a guide at the tiger reserve.

Most hotels are located along the Ranthambore road, which runs from Sawai Madhopur to the park entrance. A number of hotels are located very close to the forest boundary. According to 2003 records of the field director of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, 15 hotels are located within one km of the forest boundary. Of these, 12 are located within 500 metres, three at a distance of zero metre from the forest boundary and one within the forest area.Since then, more hotels have been added to the category of too-close-for-comfort. In addition, land adjacent to the park is being bought and converted into farms. Many are just buying the land so that they can build hotels in the future. In effect, this high-value real estate is undergoing a transformation — to the detriment of its original owners and users.

Currently, there are no regulations that determine how close hotels and other commercial establishments can be to the reserve, but there is a general consensus that some distance should be maintained. "There is no locational or land-use policy for areas around the national parks and this has led to a number of hotels being located dangerously close to the forest areas,' says Rajesh Gopal, director, Project Tiger. In addition, deviation from traditional land use and conversion of agricultural and grazing land for commercial use is also not regulated.

Flexible regulations

The effort to bring some regulation has always been stymied, allegedly by powerful tourism interests. The Rajasthan state government tried as early as 1971 to direct that activities around the ‘game sanctuary' would be controlled. Its letter number F.7 (515) Rev./7A dated January 15, 1971, from the deputy secretary to the Rajasthan governments' revenue department states: "Government has decided that in the interest of habitants of wildlife and protection of forests no lands in the vicinity of forest will be released for cultivation by the revenue department within two miles of the game sanctuary.' Not only was this directive not implemented, commercial use also became rampant. "We are aware that a number of hotels are located very near the forest area but they have all the requisite clearances,' says Rajesh Yadav, district collector, Sawai Madhopur. As no clearance, other than permission to set up shop and clearance of building plan is needed, the regulations are not particularly mindful of the imperatives of conservation.

But even what little is required is rarely followed. In November 2004, Yadav ordered a survey of hotels to verify whether the conditions stipulated at the time of building clearance were being met. "We found that a number of conditions, which relate to the built-up area sanctioned, to maintaining a green belt and planting trees around the area, had not been adhered to by almost all the hotels surveyed,' says Yadav.

Worse (and perhaps not surprisingly) records for the exclusive and Rs 30,000-a-night Aman-e-Khas hotel were missing. Yadav admits that large-scale change of land use can have adverse effects on the forests around. "A lot of grazing land is being lost due to change of land use,' he says. This, in turn, increases pressure on the resources of poor people, who then have no option but to venture into the protected forests for their fodder.

In 2002, a serious attempt was made by the government to regulate the tourist industry. On December 26, 2002, the then secretary (forests) to the government of Rajasthan issued directions that "all construction activities in this zone (within 500 metres of the park boundary) will be banned. There will be a total freeze in extension of existing structures'. "Existing land use pattern will not be changed,' said the firmly worded directive.

But so powerful were the interests the government was taking on that in May 2003 — less than six months later — the directive had to be relaxed. The same official issued another order saying that the "ban' was relaxed because "immediate application of this order had inadvertently hit adversely some hotel projects'. Now the state government maintained that "all the ongoing hotel projects which have been affected by the order dated 26th December, 2002, may be granted a special relaxation for taking up construction within 500 metres of the Ranthambore National Park'. But so obviously embarrassed was the government that the letter added uncharacteristically that this relaxation had been given as a "very, very special case'.

The fact is that the damage had been done. Local newspapers reported that beneficiaries of the government's about turn were top hotels like Aman-E-Khas — the foreign luxury chain whose domestic links are unclear but open to much local speculation.

This has the following results. One, that people are buying land as close to the park as possible in the anticipation of another ‘relaxation'. This correspondent saw a number of empty plots enclosed by boundary walls hardly a few metres from the park boundary. "People have been buying all the available land near the park in the hope that some day another round of clearances will take place,' says a local hotelier.

Two, people have no regard for the directive, which was ‘bent' under pressure. For instance, the condition, regarding the "total freeze in extension of existing conditions' was still in force. However, Down To Earth (dte) saw number of new constructions taking place within the 500-metre radius. Right next to Nahargarh hotel (360 metres from the forest boundary) a new building was being constructed.

Whether the new constructions were being carried out with permission from the forest department or the district administration could not be ascertained since the owners were not present at the hotel when the dte team visited. In fact, another new building was being constructed a few hundred metres from Nahargarh hotel, .
Three, since some property cases connected to this regulation concerned key conservationists or their relatives, the anger of local people turned against the park and its protection.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kahan Gaye Tiger ?

Today, I posted my second entry on saving the tiger "Tiger Bachao via social networking". The Tiger count in the country was estimated about 3500-5000 (Approx). But after the 2007 Census, a mere 1500 wild cats roam free in India.. 1411 to be more precise..

Every one had a different view on people involved in Poaching. Some felt it is the correct punishment but some on the other hand felt that poachers should be fed to the Tigers .

Tiger Poachers
Tiger Poachers 
I personally feel that people involved in poaching should be hanged. But sometime, I feel that Tigers should also be given a chance to deal with these killers the way they want. Not just feeding them but throwing them to hungry predators. But I know this is next to impossible. According to the official figures the population rose from 3508 in 1997 to 3642 in 2002. But in 2008 there is a fall of 60%. The figures of 2007 shows that only 1411 Tigers are left in the country known as the "The Land of Tigers".

There are several methods for Tiger Census "Prey Density Estimation", radio telemetry, digital photography of pugs, camera trapping method, Identification using DNA from Tiger droppings and the very famous "Pugmark Method". Camera trapping method is not practical especially where there are 1 or 2 Tigers per 100 sq. kms. This method was confined to a few major tiger habitats. The final fiure was an outcome of the new and advanced techniques used in 2007 cencus.

Encroachment by humans in their natural habitat and Poaching are the prime reasons for the fall. Relocation and Resettlement is only done on papers and is never taken seriously.
How long are we going to remember these figures? It is quite possible that some might think about this issue after the next census. Wouldn’t it be a little too late? A decline of 60% in a decade makes the picture very clear. There is still hope if saving tigers is taken as a priority.

The World would not be as Beautiful as it is, Without Tigers…. !!!!

Tiger Bachao (Save the Tiger)

Jabalpur, which is surrounded by the most popular and famous TIGER RESERVES in the country
Not more than a decade ago, Tigers could be easily spotted on the way to the Dumna Airport, Jabalpur. But the development, construction and opening of numerous colleges here has led to the fading away of the stripes, and the animals are forced to a few square kilometer FENCED JUNGLE. The pakki sadak

When the news channels and newspapers reported that the last living Male Tiger in Panna has moved in to some nearby jungle in search of a soul mate, I had an intuition that there was no tiger left in Panna. Then came the relocation process, Tigresses from Bandhavgarh and Kanha were airlifted and Tran located to Panna. They were radio collared and were followed for a few weeks. And since the last week, the radio collars are not answering. Both the tigresses of Panna are now missing. The Panna’s forest officials have been boasting about the Tiger number being 30, five years back. NOT EVEN A SINGLE TIGER IS PRESENT IN PANNA TODAY. The report sent to the Chief Minister of the State clearly confirms the inability of the staff at Panna. If we are to believe that Forest people, then Panna has lost over 30 Tigers in the last five years. Panna has even lost the two BORROWED Tigresses. The sweep was the last alarm for Panna. Does it have any hope now.. ?? clearly tells the story of the diminishing pugmarks. Everyone here has a story to tell about the tiger, but no one has seen him since years. The King is gone………… Where.. ??

This is not the story of only one park in our country. Everywhere it’s the same. A Tiger goes missing, the local forest officials report the matter and send their report about the missing tiger, the govt. constitutes a team for the investigation, Investigations are held, but none of the poachers are arrested or no staff is penalized or punished for the lazy behavior.

Stories about the Tigers being electrocuted, shot and even poisoned are very common these days. And that does not even make a difference to the general public today. We have our own lives and we are busy fighting for our own needs. Nobody cares for the national animal. The decline in the number is so swift that in and around the next decade we shall be forced to choose a new national animal for the country. Tiger would then appear in magazines, postcards, stamp, documentaries and pictures. We are killing ourselves……..